It’s a shocking blow to the Adelaide Strikers as their captain and New Zealand all-rounder Suzie Bates has declared her withdrawal from this year’s Weber WBBL. Bates announced her withdrawal on Thursday to the Strikers Media with the reason being traveling restrictions in New Zealand due to the pandemic.
Bates returned earlier this week after playing a series in England with the White Ferns and her only way to obtain a place in the MIQ was to return home with the national team. It would be extremely difficult for her to go to Australia for the WBBL directly and then return home due to the limitations and uncertainty regarding quarantine spots. Hence, the only feasible solution to this problem was to sit out this season.
Dane van Niekerk in blue, you better believe it!
— Weber Women’s Big Bash League (@WBBL) September 30, 2021
Suzie told Strikers Media, “Unfortunately, this season I had to make the tough decision to withdraw from the WBBL because of the current travel restrictions between Australia and New Zealand and the difficulty for New Zealanders overseas to travel back to New Zealand freely because of the limited availability and uncertainty around guaranteeing quarantine spots. At the time I had to make the decision, I had a spot booked by New Zealand Cricket to get me back into NZ and if I gave this up to fly straight to Australia there was high chance of being stranded post the Big Bash. This was not a risk I was willing to take given what the White Ferns have coming up this summer, including a home World Cup. I love this club; I love playing for the Strikers, so it was not an easy decision, but I look forward to following and supporting the team as best I can.”
Striker General Manager, Kate Harkness stated, “An inspirational captain for multiple seasons, we cannot speak highly enough of Suzie and the commitment she has shown to the Adelaide Strikers. Without the unusual circumstances we currently face, Suzie would be representing us again this summer, and we are extremely thankful for the professionalism Suzie has displayed throughout this process. Such is the impact Suzie has had on the Strikers, her attitude and approach to the game will still be reflected during WBBL|07 because of the countless hours dedicated to making us better since her first day in blue. While not on our list for the upcoming season, Suzie is still a Striker, and we know we will hear the cheers from across the Tasman in the coming weeks.”
Now that their captain is out of the series, the Strikers resorted to quick action and have replaced her with South Africa’s skipper Dane Van Niekerk. Niekerk was part of the Sydney Sixers till WBBL|06 but now has relocated into the Adelaide Strikers squad.
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